Monday, April 14, 2008

"Beautiful"

I made it just under the wire! It's only been six days since my last post - not yet a week. Today's post was a LONG one, so I broke it up into two parts. I'll post Part II by 10 am on Wednesday. I promise at least four posts this week, so check back tomorrow... you can hold me to it.

Have you ever been moving along with your life, minding your own business and then… BOOM! You catch a whiff of someone’s perfume or cologne, you see something that catches your eye, or you hear a certain song, and it brings back memories of days long gone? That very thing happened to me this morning on the way to work. I was listening to my iPod and had my “Sunny Day” playlist on shuffle. All of a sudden, I heard the opening bars of Snoop Dogg and Pharrell’s “Beautiful” come blaring out of my speakers. And, boy, oh boy, does that song bring back memories. The first person who popped into my head was Terrell. Cause that was “our song”. Even bestie knows that. Every time it comes on, she asks me about him. I wish I knew where he was, but it’s been YEARS since we’ve spoken. Our romance was intense, but fleeting, and it is one “relationship” that I still lament on a pretty regular basis (or at least when I hear Pharrell belt out the chorus to “Beautiful”).

Terrell and I met in my second year of law school. My cousin convinced me to go to a little whole in the wall down in Adams Morgan (a funky DC neighborhood with tons of bars and clubs) called Fasika – those of you from DC probably know it. It was one of my favorite spots back in the day. I wasn’t really in the mood to party that night – sometimes I get into moods where I just want to vege out in front of my television and it takes a lot of convincing to get me outside, but with a lot of pleading I can be persuaded to venture out. I threw on a T-shirt, some jeans, and some boots and a little lipgloss and that was about as much effort as I allowed myself to put into me getting ready to go out. We got to Fasika, stood by the bar and drank a little bit. And then the DJ got good. We hit the dance floor and danced and giggled and sweated out our hair (which, in Fasika, is really easy to do).

I saw a tall, handsome man standing against a wall watching the dance floor. And, then, I realized – he was watching ME in particular. So, I put a little twist in my hips just for him and we made eye contact more than a few times. Eventually, when he didn’t make a move, I just kind of forgot about him and danced with a couple other people. I finally noticed that my cousin was nowhere to be found. I ducked out on the guy I had been dancing with to head to the bar and see if she was up there. She was there, talking with some guy and sipping a drink. I went back to the dance floor and started to dance again, getting lost in the music. My cousin came back with the guy she’d been talking to at the bar. He introduced himself as Akil. Akil tells me that he thinks my cousin is beautiful and he hoped that he would be seeing more of her in the future. I noticed that the good looking guy I’d been exchanging glances with all night was still standing in the same place. I turned back to my cousin and Akil and I point – very brazenly – to the handsome man against the wall.

“You see him,” I shouted over the music, settling my gaze on Tall, Dark, and Handsome. “He is fine. Wonder why he won’t leave that wall?”

“Yoooo,” Akil says. “That’s my boy! I came here with him.”

Light bulb moment.

“Um… soooo hook me up!” I was feeling flirty and – for some reason – much more confident than normal.

“Be right back,” he said. And he hurried away to the other side of the dance floor where the man had taken up residence.

While he and Akil spoke, he and I did not take our eyes off each other. After Akil said his piece, both he and TDH made their way over to my cousin and I.

Akil took my cousin by the arm and guided her away. That left me and TDH alone on the dance floor (looking back on it, it seemed like we were alone but I’m sure there had to be at least one hundred other people around us).

“I’m Terrell,” he said. And I noticed that he had a slight southern twang.

“I’m [Brown Girl],” I say, taking his hand and shaking it lightly.

“Nice to meet you,” he said. He didn’t let go of my hand.

We just stood staring stupidly at one another.

Until he said, “Tell me about yourself.”

Of course, he was a lot taller than I am (that’s not hard to imagine) and I had to stand on my tippy-toes to yell into his ear over the thumping bass. I tried to tell him a little about myself, but it was too hard to try to carry on a conversation in that type of setting.

So, I yelled, “Give me your phone.”

And he did.

He watched my curiously as I punched in my cell phone number. And then I stood on my tippy-toes one last time and said, “Call me.”

That much he understood. We would discuss biographical information later, but for now we would enjoy the night.

We danced, hand-in-hand, for the remainder of the evening. And, right before the lights came on, the DJ played “Beautiful”. Terrell and I were done dancing and we just looked at each other while he mouthed the words to the chorus and smiled at me. And, at that moment, it was official. I was in love. Or at least in serious like. And for the rest of my life, every time I heard that song, I would think of him.

But, everyone knows that there can be magic in the club when the lights are off, but when they come on, reality hits. Not so this time. He was just as fine in the light as he was in the dark. In fact, moreso. After the music died down, we spoke just long enough for me to find out that he is from Memphis, Tennessee by way of Philadelphia, and he discovered that I was a DC girl. Which, for the record, counted against me, but I got a pass cause I live in the ‘burbs. We immediately clicked. The conversation flowed for about 30 minutes until my cousin was begging me to cut it short so we could get home.

We stood in awkward silence for about 30 seconds.

“Well, I’ve got your number. And, I WILL call,” he said, holding my hand.

“You better,” I said.

We finally let go of each other. And, about halfway down the sidewalk, we both turned and looked over our shoulders and gave a casual wave.

My cousin laughed at the silly grin on my face all the way back uptown. But I couldn’t wipe it off. I was walking on air!

It took him two days to call. Two, long, hard, miserable days. I kept panicking that maybe I hadn’t saved my number correctly in his phone. I was hating myself for not getting his number. All I had to do was hit the “send” button on his phone to capture his number. But, if I had captured the number, would I have actually called him? I probably would’ve been too embarrassed that he hadn’t called me first. Of course, I obsessed over it. I even told my mom about it who basically thought I was crazy for being worried that a guy hadn’t called me the day after he met me. I thought she was crazy for thinking it was ok for him to wait.

On the third night of him not calling, he finally, FINALLY decided to use my number. I was busy obsessing over him to Bestie and I heard the call waiting beep in my ear. I look at the number and don’t recognize it, but I have an idea of who it is. I answer on the second beep and he says:

“[Brown Girl].” It not a question, but a statement. As if I my name is the answer to a question he may have been pondering.

“Yes,” I say. And we pretty much go on from there. We talk all night. And he is more than I could’ve hoped or dreamed for. He is attractive, funny, intelligent, educated, employed (thank you Jesus!), without offspring, and – according to him – single. We had a lot of fun chatting each other up and finding out more about each other. He was from Memphis, but had spent the last few years of his youth in Philadelphia where his mom was a teacher. He came to DC for college and never left. He didn’t have a girlfriend, but had been in serious relationships before and wasn’t opposed to another. That was a positive sign.

I called my cousin to tell her the news. That we had spoken – and I was STILL interested. For those of you who don’t know my dating history know this, I meet guys ALL THE TIME. I’ll like them for five minutes, mull over their qualifications and then assess my physical attraction and nine out of ten times, I will lose interest. I don’t know what that says about me, but damn, for a person who’s actually interested in being in a relationship, I am waaaay too picky! Anyway, Terrell made the cut. Golly, did HE make the cut! When I told my cousin about him and how I was feeling about him, she said that she had connected with Akil and, based on the conversations we had with them, Akil and Terrell were best friends. How perfect was that? Cousins dating best friends! It couldn’t get any cuter.

My cousin made plans to see Akil on a Friday afternoon and we happened to have been shopping together before then. I decided to join her, so we drove over to Akil’s apartment and hung out for a while. I called Terrell to ask if he was coming over, but he was still working. I pouted while my cousin and Akil flirted with each other, play fighting and giggling all over the apartment. Finally, Terrell called. He had just gotten home from work, his roommate was having a party and he wanted to get out of the house. I rushed over to pick him up in my cousin’s car and brought him to Akil’s apartment. It was there that we kissed for the first time. And it was magical! I am a sucker for a good kiss…

Anyway, as far as I was concerned, he was my man. Of course, we hadn’t discussed being exclusive, but everything (in MY eyes) pointed in that direction. We spent the next two months kicking it… HARD. Everything was great. And I was falling in love fast and furious. He was all I could talk about and I’m sure that my friends were exhausted by my constant conversations about how wonderful he was and how I couldn’t wait to see what the future held for us. I could almost sense them rolling their eyes violently on the other end of the phone every time I mentioned his name.

Almost two months to the day that I met Terrell, I noticed that he was acting different towards me. For the first two months, he would call me every day around the same time without fail. And we spoke EVERY SINGLE DAY (this was before text messaging was really popular). But all of a sudden, his calls became less and less frequent and his behavior became erratic. He became distant, but was still in touch with me just enough to keep my interest peeked.

Now, during this time, I had also become very close to Akil. He would call me to check on me every now and again and, even though he and my cousin had cooled off a bit, he would hang out with me and Terrell on a pretty regular basis. Since we’d become such good buddies, eventually, I began whining to Akil about the way Terrell had been acting. He was the ear that I needed. He assured me that I had nothing to worry about. Terrell was just busy, didn’t know how to handle stress well and therefore needed space, but he would come around and start acting like his old self sooner or later. He told me everything I wanted to hear. And I believed him for the most part. But when Terrell was still out of pocket two weeks later, I’d had enough...

(Part II tomorrow)

1 comment:

suspense is NOT beautiful said...

growing up, I never liked 'To Be Continued' episodes because I am not a patient person and I do not handle suspense well at all! just so you know, I HATE that I have to wait for the part II of this. :(